Mr Phil Hogan TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government has announced that the Government has allocated an immediate initial allocation of €15m for emergency purposes pending a fuller assessment of the situation over the coming weeks. This is in addition to funding already available from the various Government departments.
The Minister updated his colleagues at the Government meeting this morning. He also noted that the National Coordination Group met this morning in the (NECC) National Emergency Coordination Centre to review the situation to date and to consider the on-going threats from storms and tidal conditions as well as river flooding.
Met Éireann has reported that Ireland will continue to be subjected to a sequence of Atlantic storms through the weekend, resulting in extreme wind conditions, episodes of heavy rainfall and storm surges associated with high tides and low pressure atmospheric conditions.
“I want to reassure people that we are carefully monitoring the effect the weather is having on families, businesses and communities around the country. We are fully engaged at Government and national level with the local authorities and emergency response units in order to provide every assistance they need, including financial, to carry out their invaluable work” said Minister Hogan.
The Minister commended the on-going work being carried out on the ground locally by the emergency services, civil defence, local authority staff, communities and local groups and the close collaboration between them.
The Dept. of Social Protection operates a number of schemes to assist households in the aftermath of emergency events such as flooding, with Urgent Needs payments to cover clothing, food and emergency accommodation costs and Humanitarian Assistance to assist people whose homes are damaged by flooding and who are not in a position to meet the costs of essential needs, household items and in some instances structural repair caused by flooding.
Local DSP officials are engaging with the Local Authority and a protocol has been established with the Local Authority whereby they will carry out an assessment on the level of assistance required on a house by house basis.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind the public to continue to heed the safety messages and stay well away from affected areas and to exercise caution when travelling in poor weather conditions,” added the Minister.
The National Coordination Group will meet again tomorrow (Wednesday) and the Government will be kept informed as the situation changes. The Government will review the situation again next Tuesday, including physical damage to infrastructure.